Up Date: 16:15 ET In the White House Press Conference this afternoon, Sara Sanders claimed Trump backed down on age limits for gun sales because there isn’t enough support to pass the legislation. However, according to Politico/Morning Consult poll:
most gun control proposals — including those opposed by a large share of Republicans in Congress — earn broad approval. Eighty-eight percent support requiring background checks on all gun sales. Eighty-four percent back preventing sales of firearms to people who have been convicted of violent misdemeanors.
Raising the age limit on gun purchasers is also widely popular. Eighty-two percent think the age limit should be 21 to purchase an assault-style weapon, and 81 percent support requiring purchasers of all firearms to be 21.
More than 3 in 4 voters, 78 percent, want to create a national database with information about each gun sale. The same percentage support a three-day waiting period for all gun purchases, and 77 percent support a ban on bump stocks, which President Donald Trump has called a priority for his administration.
Well that took a bit longer than usual. Donald Trump again flips his stand on a hot topic. This time caving to the National Rifle Association’s demands that he back off raising the federal age to purchase an assault style weapon and background checks. On Sunday, the White House released its position on “school safety” that didn’t mention raising the age limit from 18 t0 21
The new proposal, rolled out over the weekend, establishes a federal commission that will evaluate several topics, including violent video games and entertainment, entertainment ratings systems, and safety measures within schools, such as arming teachers. It also seeks to study the possibility of raising the minimum purchasing age for assault-style weapons, stopping short of actually implementing any new policies. The commission, spearheaded by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, is expected to make recommendations to the White House in the next year. [..]
Trump’s sudden about-face comes less than one month after a school shooting in Parkland, Florida which left 17 people dead. In the wake of that shooting, Trump insisted that the minimum purchasing age for assault-style weapons like the one used by the alleged gunman should be raised from 18 to 21, something the NRA has said it opposes.
“You have a case right now where somebody can buy a handgun at 21. Now, this is not a popular thing to say, in terms of the NRA. But I’m saying it anyway — I’m going to just have to say it,” Trump said, during a bipartisan meeting with lawmakers on February 28. “You can’t buy [a handgun]…until you’re 21. But you can buy the kind of weapon used in the school shooting at 18. I think it’s something you have to think about.” [..]
He added that, unlike Congress, he would be able to change the policy because the NRA had “less power” over him than lawmakers.
Days later, however, following a meeting with top NRA officials, the president himself appeared to buckle under pressure.
According to CNN, during that meeting, NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre and NRA lobbying executive Chris Cox argued against the idea of raising the minimum purchasing age to 21, telling the president that such a move would infringe on the constitutional rights of 18, 19, and 20-year-olds.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos spent much and last week doing damage control on the morning talk shows claiming that the administration had not dropped the ball. Her performance on CBS’ “60 Minutes” was less than stellar not only on her knowledge of the school safety panel she now heads but the mission of her own department.
"Betsey DeVos basically paid for her position…I think she's not the right person for this," says Florida shooting survivor David Hogg after WH unveils plan to establish a school safety commission chaired by the US Education Secretary https://t.co/JoA2GXoPwB pic.twitter.com/NgPFbiOkOq
— CNN (@CNN) March 12, 2018
Nor will the proposal to ban bump-stocks, which converts a semi automatic rifle into an automatic rifle, get off the ground. An executive order will have little teeth without congressional support. Of course, most congressional leaders are beholden to do the bidding of the NRA.
Expanding and improving background checks and closing loopholes for gun sales has been watered down, as well. There as no mention of vetting buyers for firearm sales that take place online and at gun shows which had been floated by Trump last month. The White House is only endorsing minor legislation in Congress to improve federal and state databases used for background checks by licensed dealers.
Of course, banning assault style weapons and limiting magazine size are out of the question and not even mentioned by this coward.
The position now is to train and arm teachers which is opposed by education groups and only popular with the NRA.
Three of this nation’s worst shooting, Las Vegas, Orlando and Parkland, have occurred on Trumps watch. Like his stand on immigration when he told a bipartisan group of legislators, “send me a bill I’ll sign it,” Trump has flipped and flopped under pressure, giving the NRA and gun lobbyists what they want. This isn’t about “school safety.” It’s about sensible gun control and ownership.